UMass & Evansville Play To Scoreless Tie

August 31, 2013

PEORIA, Ill. - The Massachusetts men's soccer team opened the 2013 season with a 0-0 tie against Evansville at Bradley's Shea Stadium Friday evening.

UMass was outshot 20-13 in the contest and by a 13-3 margin in the first half. The Minutemen were the aggressors in the two overtime sessions, booting five attempts to two for the Purple Aces.

UMass got a great performance in goal from Nick Ruiz as the redshirt freshman from La Crescenta, Calif. stopped nine shots, with seven in the opening half.

"I felt overall that it was a very good result for the first game of the season," UMass head coach Sam Koch said. "We weren't as sharp in the first half but as the game went on, I could see the guys starting to work much more together. Nick Ruiz played very well in goal. Cody Sitton and Matt Keys also did a very good job in the back."

For UMass, Peter Alvarenga and Connor Devivo had three shots each as seven difference players took a shot.

The game time temperature was 94 degrees with a heat index nearing 100, prompting game officials to institute a mandatory water stoppage with 20 minutes to play in each half.

The Minutemen started eight freshman or sophomores, including two defenders and Ruiz in the back row. UMass played 16 of their 19 available field players on Friday.

Evansville's Eric Teppen made three saves. Nate Opperman led the Purple Aces offensively with seven shots and four shots on goal. 

"I have a lot of respect for Sam Koch and his staff, and his kids play with a 'bend but don't break' attitude," UE head coach Mike Jacobs said. "We absolutely battered them with shots, but their goalkeeper stood on his head and that is a credit to him and the rest of their team."

UMass will have a day off before Sunday's game against Bradley. Kickoff with the Braves - who are receiving votes in the NSCAA Top 25 Poll - is set for 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Live video is available for $4.95 and can be accessed on links provided at UMassAthletics.com.

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